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Filed in:Alexandra

The World According to Oop

July 7th, 2007  · stk

It's about time - an Oop Update! Artwork, photos and funny things that our three and a half year-old daughter, Alex, has been saying recently. Just try to keep up with the Oop, we dare you!

The Oop Bends a Knee

I'm driving home with Alex the other day, after having picked her up from day-care. It's a 15-minute drive, one-way, nothing like the two-block walk it was, when we lived in Edmonton. It's one of the things that we're still getting used to about rural life, having to drive so far to get anything, but it does give Alex and I some time to chat.

"Did you have fun at day-care today?" I ask.

"Uh huh," she says.

"What did you do?"

She then provides me with a long - mostly unintelligible - list of things that she was involved in, during the day, from an insightful 3-year-old perspective.

Alex's day-care is in a private home, which, in many respects, is much better than the sanctioned day-care facility we used in Edmonton. The woman who runs it has a daughter that's only 2 years older than Alex. It's nice that Alex plays with an 'older' kid, because it helps her learn faster. There are generally less than 5 kids there, at any given time, so we know that Alex is getting lots of one-on-one attention and there also far fewer germs being spread around. (Alex isn't sick nearly as often as she was at the germ-pit in Edmonton, which means Dad and Mom don't get sick as often too!) Yay!

With Rachel's hectic hospital schedule and picking up the odd overtime shift, having Alex at a private home also means a more flexible day-care schedule. The only thing we miss is the sheer number of kids, which helps with Alex's social development (Alex tends to be a tad bossy and a bit of a control freak). Wonder where that came from? :roll:

Alex goes to day-care, on average, about two times a week (on each of Rachel's 12-hour day shifts).

Anyway ... back to the story ...

So I say to Alex (as I try to make a conscience effort to do, just to let her know), "I love you bud."

"I love you too, daddy."

She's quiet for a while, after this, just looking out the window, watching the sun-dappled Douglass fir and Maple trees go whipping past. Summer has arrived at Yellow Point and the forest comes right to the road's edge, providing a mostly shaded drive, despite the sunny afternoon.

"Daddy?" she asks.

"What Oop?"

"When I grow up I gonna marry you," she blurts out.

"That's nice," I say, surprised at the sudden show of affection, "but I'm already married to mommy."

"She's too fat for you," the Oop says to me, logically positioning her proposal to her advantage (there's not one ounce of fat on her).

While it's true that both Rachel and I have put on weight since we finished hiking the PCT, it's Dad - not Mom - that shows it more.

"Alex, don't you think Daddy's fat too?" I ask, immediately coming to Mom's aid.

"No," she says, "You're not too fat for me, Daddy."

And just like that, I received my first ever marriage proposal - from my three and a half year-old daughter! As strange as that was to hear!

For more Oopism's, Oop-news and photos ... carry on ...


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Updated: 8-Jul-2007
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May & June SPAM Stats

July 4th, 2007  · stk

Randsco SPAM stats for May and June. Over 45,000 visitors and nearly as many SPAM attempts. Some were successful. Graph, tables & a few oddities that stand out in the crowd are presented. See who broke through the defenses and why.

Barbarians at the Gate

We apologize for May's late SPAM report and we thank those that emailed us, asking about it. We were busy sorting out server problems, because the Randsco website was hit or miss for over a week. SiteGround (our hosting provider) was trying to fix hardware problems on their server. Finally, they bought a brand new server, moved everyone across, then told us we were consuming too many resources! Eye-veh!

Despite technical glitches, Randsco readership hit new highs during May and June, with each month logging over 20,000 visitors! Now that the website is stable again (fingers crossed), we have time to post the monthly SPAM stats. We'll cover the last two months - May and June - in this one report.

In April's report, we said that our perfect, SPAM-free record was broken by a single SPAM message. (Poor Bridget, desperate for human contact, left us a comment in which she said, "I want sex".)

May and June both, have yielded additional SPAM messages, though none quite as compelling as Briget's. By comparison, it seemed like the SPAM floodgates were open. It turns out that it was partly webmaster error and partly spammer success.

Does this mean our blocking methods don't work? How bad was the damage?

To see who's laughing now and why ... read on ...


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Updated: 5-Jul-2007
Web View Count: 19162 viewsLast Web Update: 5-Jul-2007

NCFD Open House

July 1st, 2007  · stk

On the day before Canada Day, the North Cedar Fire Department held it's annual "Open House" event. This year, Scott was there to help out and witness the festivities. Door prizes, demonstrations, hot dogs, cold drinks, balloons, a chance to shoot off a fire hose ... what self-respecting kid (ahem adult?) wouldn't jump at the chance to hang out at the hall for a day? Both Scott and the Oop had a blast!

Happy Canada Day!

The North Cedar Fire Department opened its doors to the public, yesterday, from 10 AM till 3 PM. It was a family and community-oriented event, building goodwill and letting folks see what goes on at the relatively new (opened early 2006) fire hall.

There were plenty of activities, including: a Boot Drive (proceeds donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association), barbecued hot dogs with cold drinks, an inflatable 'bouncy' castle, auto extrication demonstrations, fire-extinguisher demonstration, shooting water from an inch and a half spray nozzle, historical displays, climbing aboard the fire engines, free balloons and general exploration of the hall.

Scott was there, all day, talking with folks and manning the Muscular Dystrophy donations table. Rachel, who had worked the night shift at the hospital, the night before, got up early and brought the Oop down mid-afternoon. Alex "drove" the big fire engine, shot water at a target with Dad, bounced in the blow-up castle and stuffed her face with a hot dog. She had a great time.

For more photos ... continue ...


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Updated: 25-Jun-2008
Web View Count: 66563 viewsLast Web Update: 25-Jun-2008
Filed in:Site News

Six Days in June

June 11th, 2007  · stk

For the past few days, has suffered through a series of server problems, even accused of overloading the server! Read about our love of shared hosting companies

Shared Hosting Problems Beleaguer Randsco

It may very well be that we have outgrown any sort of shared hosting plan. We have grown weary of suffering through server problems, poor loading speeds, high server loads and sharing a server with 543 "who-knows-what-they're-up-to" others.

For six days in June, we waited for (our shared hosting provider) to fix a server that was on the fritz. During those six days, our site was up and down more times than even Paris Hilton has experienced (well, maybe I'm exaggerating a tad, but you get the picture).

We monitor server loads and we witnessed loads in excess of 150% (how is that even possible)?

In desperation (and by using MSDOS FTP) we posted a warning to our main page - "Watch out! Slow loading site because of crappy shared server. Stay tuned for details."

At the end of the day, after a new server was obtained and (along with the other 543 other sites) moved to this fancy new, high-speed, better-than-sliced-bread server, we received an email saying that our site was using too many resources. :-/ Gee, were we somehow responsible for the greater-than 150% server load on the old server? I don't think so.

To our host's credit, they worked with us to optimize our website and we're hoping that our server woes are now behind us.

To read all about the sordid affair ... press continue ...

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Updated: 11-Jun-2007
Web View Count: 14595 viewsLast Web Update: 11-Jun-2007
Filed in:Noteworthy

Cooking Oil Fire

May 30th, 2007  · stk

In the U.K. each year, thousands are injured during kitchen cooking oil fires. Some 40 or so people die, each year, as a result. The U.K. Home Office released an effective, public-awareness video, demonstrating the difference between the "right way" and the "wrong way" of dealing with cooking oil fires. It's worth a look. ;)

cooking oil fire

A Public Safety Video Worth Watching

Put out by the U.K. "Home Office" in 1999, this £1.5 million national advertising campaign was aimed at reducing the number of chip pan fires, across the United Kingdom. While the video is now eight years old, the information and message is relevant to ANY stove-top cooking oil fire. It is an amazingly well-done advertisement that demonstrates the volatility of cooking oil fires.

Apparently, Brits like to eat fresh chips (or fries) after drinking beer at the local pub, which has led to a nationwide epidemic of late night cooking oil fires. More than 4,600 people were injured in 1998, when trying to make fries. More than 30% of those injuries happened between 10 PM and 4 AM. As many as 46 people per year die as a result of these chip-pan fires. Sobering statistics, for sure.

In the typical scenario, the drunken Brit arrives home, decides to fix some French fries, pours oil in the pan, turns on the stove top and then passes out on the couch or sofa, awakening (or not) only after the oil is super-heated and on fire. A groggy, drunken person doesn't make for a great fire-fighter and what you see in the video can easily be the result.

Knowing how to extinguish a stove-top cooking oil fire is demonstrated. Follow the 3 simple steps and you've controlled a volatile situation. Make the wrong move and you could be on fire in a split second - or worse - dead.

Use a deep fat fryer or buy your late-night fries at Micky Dee's, but regardless, take 30 seconds and watch this video.

For an explanation behind the volatility of cooking oil fires, carry on ...

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Updated: 1-Jun-2007
Web View Count: 58045 viewsLast Web Update: 1-Jun-2007